Friday, 27 May 2011

Newsletter Issue 201, May 2011

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 201, May 2011
Hi guys,
Kenn Butler, weekly newsletter writer, ponders about competition after some inspiration from Jenny Devine. Check out Who are You Competing With? below.
We look at the lighter side of Handbags: What's in em?
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Who are You Competing With?

Kenn Butler writes a weekly newsletter article on aspects of business. A couple of weeks ago he posted a real gem on competition (at, which he has allowed me to share with you all here, written & sourced from Jenny Devine's newsletter at & adapted with permission from Jenny.
A few seconds before full time, one of the rugby teams is awarded a penalty. The outcome will determine which team wins the championship, a representative competition for rugby teams. The atmosphere is electric. The spectators are silent. The players, all aged around 12, can hardly bare to watch. Although it is not technically a difficult kick, only a few metres from the posts & at a soft angle, my intuition is the first-five shouldn’t attempt it. An outstanding player around the field, his kicking has been off today & the pressure on him now is staggering.
Both teams have played a spectacular game; talented boys demonstrating the skill, speed, power & flair of rugby at its best & in a moment the “winner” will be known. The first-five lines the ball up, gazes at the posts, pauses & kicks. The ball misses, veering left & missing the posts completely. The opposing team & their supporters throw their arms in the air, screaming & ecstatic. A boy’s mistake has made them all winners.
I watch one team & their supporters; crumpled; disbelieving; devastated. A boy’s mistake has made them all losers. Several of the boys are struggling to hold back tears; others are unsuccessful. The first-five’s head is on his chest, his eyes to the ground, lost somewhere in his own grief & shame.
This, my friends, is competition. This is what we encourage our children to take part in from a young age. This scenario, modified to various degrees, plays itself out all over the world on a daily basis; within schools, on sports fields, in dance academies, musical institutes & art schools. Children compete to win, to be the best, to dominate.
Like you, I live in a world where the ruling & predominant paradigm is based on competition. In our world “competing” is the norm. Individuals, businesses, companies, markets & countries compete against each other. If competition is defined as rivalry in which the desired outcome is supremacy then you & I are competing every day. We compete with ourselves & we compete with others.
So then, is this concept of competition wrong or right? Is it by nature fundamentally flawed or is it actually essential to bring out the “best” in ourselves & others? If we look from a psychological perspective at what drives this rivalry we can see in its most pathological form the wounded aspect of the ego lives in a war zone engaging in daily battles. Unsure of its territory, isolated from its source & having limited belief in itself it battles to survive. It observes other human beings from a defensive position drawing in those it believes can strengthen its position & attacking or sabotaging (overtly or covertly) those who might threaten it. Its goal is to win: more power, more money, more things, more prestige, & more glory. It has no understanding of the word enough. For the wounded ego there is no enough; there will never be enough.
I can remember experiencing such a paradox. What is the point? Why compete, be the best you can be & give it all you’ve got if there’s nothing to win? Why hurry & get back on your bike…why bother at all? Herein lies the mystery of competition. From the perspective of shadow work, the dark shadow of “competitive” & the light shadow of “co-operative” are neither right nor wrong. They just are. Like all shadows they have their place & at some time or other in this life they will both serve us; they both contain useful & not so useful characteristics. Trouble arises for us when we deny or repress them or try to make their existence wrong.
Like all shadows, when we see them for what they truly are, acknowledge their presence & accept them as a natural part of us then we graced with the power of choice. We get to choose to use the shadows to serve us rather than being used by them.
You see I am competitive. I am also co-operative. In the course of my life as I follow my passion to awaken the consciousness of leaders I will need both of these qualities to assist me. These human qualities are a tiny part of the greater whole which is me, but this doesn’t mean they are insignificant; like you & me, they contribute to a magnificent whole which would be incomplete without them.
Author bio: With over 38 years experience in the industry, and with a commitment to excellent customer service, Kenn Butler is the man for all your insurance needs. Passionate about leadership and customer service, and as an experienced business person and mentor, he is a sought after consultant and public speaker. View online at
Author bio: Jenny Devine is a Certified Integrative Coach trained by Debbie Ford at the Ford Institute for Integrative Coaching at JFK University, California. Jenny has a Masters Degree in Consciousness Studies from the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles and is also a certified Yoga teacher from Kripalu in Massachusetts. She is credentialed by the International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC). View online at

Handbags: What's in em?

Jean-Claude Kaufmann is one of France's leading sociologists. His research into women's handbags is just out in a book, Le Sac un Petit Monde d'Amour ("The Bag, a Small World of Affection"), and, with photographer Pierre Klein, there is also a photo exhibition of the contents of 50 handbags, Elles Vident Leur Sac (a saying which means "to get it off one's chest"). Kaufmann points out that the more that "women have become independent, the more they have taken their bag with them every day".
Adam Sage of the Times wrote an article in April about handbag contents (original article link below). Sage said that Kaufmann had found that a handbag is an "insurance policy against the risks of daily life". How an insurance policy? Well, we women tend to carry around a lot of things just in case we need them.
Personally, I never used to use a handbag. I used to carry my wallet and my keys, with my sunglasses on my head. Three things; easy peasy. But then I added a fourth thing to the mix; that of a cellphone. Suddenly I was leaving one of my things behind wherever I went, getting to the car and finding I had left my keys behind; getting a call at home to find I had left my cellphone at a shop...
So to avoid constantly losing things, I succumbed to a small bag. And over time I added things to it; plasters, loyalty cards, neurofen, two pens (just in case!), business cards, rolled up shopping bags, nail scissors (reminder to self, do NOT leave these in at the airport again), hand cream, tiny sewing kit and more. No makeup though; I don't do war-paint.
After shoulder injury, I migrated to a leather backpack. So I have only one 'handbag', and it isn't one.
Sage quoted Kaufmann. "The just-in-case tells us a lot about today's society [...] We don't face more risks than people did in the past but we can't stand the idea of being unprepared for risk."
An insurance policy. That is what my backpack is. It contains all the things that I MAY need when I am out and about. Probably 95% of the time, I would be able to get away with not having most of it with me. But when I don' take it, my husband will give me his wallet to look after, and be horrified that I don't have my bag with me, for his convenience. Or I will need that plaster for someone, or tissues, or another pen, or some paper, or a business card, or my emergency credit card (yes, I have an 'emergency' one - and, no, it is not because my credit is maxed out! It is another form of insurance).
Sage in his article talked about women constantly being unable to find their keys in their bags. My bag isn't big, but I too misplace my keys in its black depths. I think it says more about who designs bags... and I must remember to buy another dog-clip to snap my keys onto the inside of mine (I recycled it in another just in case situation.
Martine Laronche in her Guardian article (see below) talked about the seriousness of loss or theft. She quoted Kaufmann "The owner feel as though she has lost part of herself. The handbag is a key piece in the day-to-day construction of identity." The exhibition photographer, Klein, feels that women have their identity in their handbags, where the more affluent amongst us get away from practicality and into image construction.  Do you have a Louis Vuitton bag? Miu Miu? ChloĆ©? Jill Sander? Or do you recreate yourself depending on what day it is?
"It's a female attribute, an expression of style," Klein says. "A woman's handbag is a bit like a man's car: it corresponds to the image they wish to project." Perhaps. I am the unbranded bag that is kept until the cobbler's repairs can no longer keep it together; the well-loved muddy and dented family retainer, chuffing along on three cylinders.
However, Kaufmann and Klein feel that we women try to see the future in what we carry with us; shopping lists, first aid items, things to keep the family entertained and organised. Some of us - though not me - appear to carry the past; mementoes, photographs, icons and artefacts.
Kaufmann was surprised by how many 'useless' things that the women in his study carried, as physical icons of their past. As Sage said, there were "teddy bears, dolls, pebbles, champagne corks, an old handkerchief (the souvenir of a discarded lover), letters of reconciliation [, ...]photographs of loved ones".
Ah, but not in mine. Practicality rules. But I must remember to get a new dog-clip :-)

Beware of Malware Dialogue Boxes

If you suspect you have accessed a website which is about to download something nasty on your PC via one of those little pop-up dialogue boxes; don't click the "x". Some of the dialogue boxes are really just images, and the whole thing is really a link that activates the payload of whatever nasty you have staggered into.
This includes the relatively new 'LizaMoon' malware (the payload is delivered via one of those a fake "Your computer is infected! Scan now?" pop-up dialogue boxes).
Instead, Ctrl, Alt & Delete and shut down your browser from the taskbar.
Sure, you will lose any open windows in your surfing session, but you shouldn't get stung. And hopefully you will know where you have been & can use your daily link list to get back to where you need to be.
If you are using Firefox and it asks on restart whether you would like to load the previous session, tell it 'No'.
Safest way :-)
Thanks to for the reminder.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • WATS, wide-area telephone service. A specialised form of fixed-rate long-distance telecoms service, usually used by businesses and government agencies.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at what you can do with strikethrough and comments in Excel and Word:
  • Word "Insert a new comment" Ctrl, Alt & M
  • Excel "Strikethrough for selection" Ctrl & 5
  • Word "Strikethrough for selection" Change the assigned keys (Ctrl & L) for hyperlinks to strikethrough.

Hot Linx
Did you know that if you double-click the fill-handle in an Excel cell, then hold and drag along your range, your cells will fill as a series? Check out TechRepuplic for this hint at
To be successful, do two things: 1. Have SMART goals (ie, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Timely), and 2. Focus on what you WILL do, not what you won't. Read more from Heidi Grant Halvorson in "Nine Things Successful People Do Differently" at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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